Fall Adventures & Airbnb Wonderland

As fall is wrapping up and turning into winter, we're cramming in all the cold, hygge feels and adventures to make the most of the moderate weather and leaves. This weekend we put up the tree and all the holiday decorations (we do it as soon as we take Halloween down so we can just knock it out). Last weekend however, we went camping at our favorite place in the southeast during this time of year. Jones Gap State Park! There's tons of hiking to be done and the views are amazing. There is even a fish hatchery right near the ranger station which in itself is a beautiful mountain cabin. We've been going there for years to see Rainbow and Jones Gap falls and the leaves but it seems different every time.  It's only 3 hours from Atlanta and around $20 to camp for the night. It's a great way to get out of town. Here's the link if you want to plan your own trip!

If camping isn't your thing, my friend Katie owns a huge cabin up in the mountains just north of Atlanta and rents it out on Airbnb! It's SUPER affordable, 3 bedroom 2 bath for $95-what are you doing-GO BOOK IT! Her place books out often because of the great views, hiking, and proximity to Blue Ridge so click here to book now! It's a great way to get a change of scenery, wind down, hike, and/or see the mountains without giving up the creature comforts of home! She's really close to the orchards and Blue Ridge so go apple picking, take the open air train through the mountains, or go our for a beer and hearty mountain dinner! If you're trying to keep it affordable, bring your own food and cook and just hang out by the fire (indoor and outdoor)!

Given the opportunity, I'll always opt for a bed. But I married a bear of a man...so we camp.

We had already agreed to watch Lou's little friend, Lola, for the weekend so we had her parents approve us taking her on an adventure. Baby face is TEN years old! She'd never been camping and has anxiety but surprisingly enough, she was super mellow in the car and LOVED being outside. She stopped shaking entirely at the campsite, loved climbing around and when we was over it, let herself into the tent to stare at the twinkle lights before she drifted off for the night.

I was so excited to get to take her on her little senior vacation!


We keep it lively. After the fire started to die down and we ate smores until we almost died, we tucked in for the night. I brought our waterproof bluetooth speaker and we listened to a few episodes of the podcast Knifepoint Horror around the fire and in the tent. We read in our tent with the dogs bundled up in blankets and sleeping bags until late into the night. I had packed several strands of battery operated twinkle lights and put them up in the tent and on a few of the trees around camp to avoid slamming shins into boulders in the middle of the night on the way to designated potty spots. 

Lou liked the spooky tales! This photo makes it look like the start of Are You Afraid of the Dark?! Ah the 90s throwbacks.

Fun fact, when the air is damp, it takes a while to get your fire going and when you do, the wood burns really fast. Bring an extra batch and keep it wrapped in a trash bag. Also, if you bring cider, somehow the ants can smell it out and will swarm even a 100% sealed container. Keep it strung up high somewhere.

It's not camping without smores.

The weather was rainy and slightly chilly but not too bad. It started to pour in the middle of the night and as we hadn't used Charley's tent in >6 years...it started to leak. We should have tested it before but hey-part of the adventure. It was nothing a few towels and some extra blankets couldn't fix.

This is the view you first get starting the trails at Jones Gap. If you've never been-GO! There's no signal for your phone so it's a great way to disconnect and spend time with family or friends. Make sure you pay attention or call and ask about each camp site. Some are quite a hike in and some just have a small footprint for a tent. Ours was only big enough for our two person tent. 

The Swedes have a saying, "there's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing." I totally agree. Loved this new pullover from Athleta on the trip. It's water resistant for a light drizzle, has a chunky marsupial pocket for hands, phone and dog leashes and a neck that came up high enough in the middle of the night to keep my ears warm.

Lou had a blast hiking and seeing the waterfalls but was excited to get back to the house and get in a king sized bed with a fluffy duvet. Such a divo.

The photo above is of our backyard. I love the view this time of year. I spent some time over the past few weeks stringing twinkle lights through the trees and on the deck-makes for a pretty amazing site even at night.

What are your favorite late fall and early winter activities?!!?


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